Rather than just listing the specs needed for DSL, read about Nick Hill and Paul Knight's adventure with DSL and a couple of 486s.
This message was sent to John 19 Oct 2003 by Nick Hill. Paul Knight and him did a good amount of experimenting with Dam Small and retro hardware. Their activities culminated in a "Retro Hardware Party" where they ran DSL on a 486SX33 and a 486DX2, both with 16MB of ram.
Quote from mail:
This message is being sent from the damn small machine using Sylpheed.
We successfully used a machine- a 486SX33 16Mb ram to surf the web and send email. Even used it as a remote station to edit pictures using the GIMP over a broadband link. Not exactly fast, but can be done. Takes 10-15 seconds to render news.bbc.co.uk.
The machine couldn't cope with an Ogg Vorbis stream at 11Khz/19Kbit mono. However, I tried with a 486DX2 processor / 16Mb and it worked.. Just! The missing FPU on the 486SX makes a difference for multimedia streams! The 486SX took 3 minutes to decode half one second. The DX2, however, coped in real time.
We held a retro hardware 'party' this evening, complete with chocolate biscuits and tea.
So now we know- web surfing with a modern operating system on atticware can be done- and we now are no longer restricted to tupperware parties- we have atticware parties!
I have attached a couple of pictures from our party. One shows the dmesg screen showing the processor kicking out an amazing 16.58 BogoMips and the 16Mb system ram can be seen. I have also included a photo of me and paul proudly showing off our atticware multitasking games, a (paused) instance of XMMS and 2 browser windows.
I have included an archive of the output of dmesg and ps ax.
BTW Glinks would not work on the SX chip but works on the DX chip.
Here are some pics that they included.
You will want to use a CD writing program with a 'write to disk' or 'burn image' option. We'll be burning dsl-x.x.x.iso straight to the CD.
This will provide a "full" standard DSL install, and it will be bootable.
Software generally used for this under MSWin is Nero, Roxio, or any program that will 'burn ISO image'.
There are many different ways to burn an ISO image, including many GUI frontends for burning ISO images like K3b, GNOME's Nautilus filemanager (using the burn:/// URI)and X-CD Roast, but I will go over the most generic way. For a more in depth HOWTO, try the CD Burning HOWOTO.
If you have a 2.4.x kernel (run uname -r to verify what version of kernel you are running), your only option is burning using the SCSI emulation in the kernel, even if you have a regular CD burner. Check the above how to in order to enable SCSI if the below commands do not work for you, otherwise, burn away.
First thing you need to do is figure out the configuration of your drive by running this command:
# cdrecord -scanbus
***END CODE SAMPLE***
If you get an error like:
cdrecord: No such file or directory. Cannot open '/dev/pg*'. Cannot open SCSI driver.
You do not have SCSI emulation enabled.
If you have a 2.6.x kernel version, you can run cdrecord without SCSI emulation enabled.
Use the same command earlier to figure out what your CD configuration is.
# cdrecord dev=ATAPI -scanbus
***END CODE SAMPLE***
If either command is successful, you should get output like:
Using libscg version 'schily-0.8'.
0,0,0 0) *
0,1,0 1) '_NEC ' 'DVD+RW ND-1100A ' '1.NE' Removable CD-ROM
0,2,0 2) *
0,3,0 3) *
***END CODE SAMPLE***
If you get output similiar to that, but you don't see anything but "*"'s, that means that cdrecord isn't detecting your CD writer properly. Check the CD Burning HOWTO for possible solutions.
After you have figured out the configuration for your CD drive, run cdrecord to burn the CD:
# cdredcord dev=x,x,x dsl-x.x.x.iso
***END CODE SAMPLE***
If you had to run -scanbus with dev=ATAPI in order for it to detect your CD writer, you'll have to run cdrecord like this:
# cdrecord dev=ATAPI:x,x,x dsl-x.x.x.iso
***END CODE SAMPLE***
After all is done and assuming you have properly setup your BIOS to boot from CD, you should be set to boot from your newly burned CD.
Open up your CD burning application (if you don't have one, get the excellent freeware app CD Burner XP Pro) and open up the CD Copy utility.
Set the source to the DSL image file and the target, or destination to your CD burner.
Set the speed to 16x or less, as this gives your CD burner the time it needs to buffer and write properly. If you burn over 16x, your CD will boot on newer computers, but probably not older PCs.
Tell it to start, and in a few minutes, your DSL CD is piping hot and ready to go!
1) Boot up the DSL livecd. If your computer does not support booting from CDROM drive, then download the boot floppy image from the DSL website and get the RAWRITE32.exe program and create a boot floppy disk. Then use the boot floppy + liveCD to start up DSL.
2) Open up an xterminal window and type:
***END CODE SAMPLE***
Assuming that you are ready to blow away all of your existing data storage
(you might want to back up any special drivers and other important stuff in
case you want to re-install the original OS), create 2 new partitions:
hda1 Linux Swap Type 82 Size (at least 128mb)
hda2 Linux Type 83 Size (the rest of the disk space, I reccommend at least 2gb)
If your hard disk is really big, try leaving some unpartitioned space for future use.
Your DSL installation will go to partition hda2
Your DSL swap partition will be hda1
Then follow the hd install script as described in the forums. FAQ is at http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/dsl-hd-install.html .
So you type:
and follow the instructions EXACTLY. In other words, if it tells you to type (for example) "hda1" then you type in "hda1". But if it tells you to type in "/dev/hda1" then you type in "/dev/hda1"
(Thanks to cbagger01)
If this process seems a little daunting to you, remember that I wrote it with a lot of built in sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek humor.
If it still seems too tough, and you have a Windows OS, you can try AwPhuch's method on 2.c.2 here in the docs.
This process may cause excess stress and frustration.
Not recommended for people with high blood pressure, a history of heart problems or aneurysms, pregnant women, or anybody else who is unable to cope with high levels of stress.
The author takes NO RESPONSIBILITY for any damage, either mental or physical, caused by this process.
Estimated time to completion >3 hours.
You will need:
* Either a copy of Knoppix or an installed full distro of linux (not DSL)
* I recommend having at least 60 BRAND NEW floppys, so that you dont have to re-use the same floppy over and over and still have a few extras. You can do it with as few as 4, but I wouldn't recommend it.
* A copy of the latest DSL iso, md5summed and checked out. Gotta be perfect.
* A copy of Tom's Root Boot on a new, high quality floppy (http://www.toms.net/rb/)
* A copy of the script from http://www.fpx.de/fp/Software/fsplit on a floppy.
* A DSL boot floppy for the version you are installing.
*** LOTS of patience
Set up your work area.
It should be a relatively large table with ample room for 2 monitors, 2 computers, 2 keyboards, 2 mice and pads if needed, lots of elbow room.
You also need a comfortable chair.
The work area should be clean and free of clutter. That means put away your bills, Magic: the Gathering cards, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, or whatever.
Gotta be clean. As little to get in your was as humanly possible.
Set up your computers to where you can use either one of them comfortably without adjusting anything. This is easier if you have a rolling chair.
Make sure you have power for everything and net access.
Wireless networks make this easier.
Make some coffee, put some beer (soda, if you're underage, like me ^_^) on ice, order pizza, or wings, or Chinese, or something.
You're gonna need it before we're done.
You'll thank me later.
Boot up the computer you want to install DSL onto with Tom's Root boot (I will call this the "target system" or just "target").
Fire up the other computer with Knoppix or whatever other distro of your choice (I will call this the "host box" or "work box") and download or access the DSL iso. Make sure its md5sum checks out.
Copy the fsplit script onto your host box and do the following mode changes.
$ chmod +x fsplit
$ chmod 775 fsplit
***END CODE SAMPLE***
This will make it executable, and act the way we want it to.
Run fsplit on the iso and cut it into 1.4mb chunks.
fsplit dsl-x.x.x.iso 1400
***END CODe SAMPLE***
This process may take a while, depending on the hardware of your work box.
Go get a drink or something if it takes more than just a few minutes.
You should get about 38 (more or less, depending on the exact size of the iso) files with names xx00, xx01, xx02 and so on. These are your single floppy images.
On the target system, use fdisk to create a fat32 partiton of at least 110mb (for the reformed iso and all the image files) at /dev/hda1. Later, this should become your swap partition, so make it however big you want that to be.
If you don't know how to use fdisk, a short walk-through of using fdisk to create partitions is available at http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Partition/partition-5.html . If you still don't get it, google is your friend.
Format the partition using this command
$ mkdosfs -v -F32 /dev/hda1
***END CODE SAMPLE***
(Thanks to Tom Oehser, the guy behind tomsrtbt)
Reboot the target machine into Tom's again and mount hda1.
Now for the FUN part!
Remember all those 1.4mb files we made earlier?
Start copying them onto floppys and then onto hda1of the target system. This will take a while.
cp xx00 /mnt/floppy
***END CODE SAMPLE***
Just repeat that for each file.
By now, your beer (soda) should be cold and your pizza or whatever should have arrived. Grab a cold one and a slice of pie and settle in for the long run.
Once all those files are on hda1 of the host system, run the following command.
$ cat xx* >
***END CODE SAMPLE***
Make sure that the name is EXACTLY the same as the original iso.
Check the md5sum of the reformed iso.
$ md5sum dsl-x.x.x.iso
***END CODE SAMPLE***
If the number checks out, move on to step 10, if not, reboot the target system, delete everything on hda1, and go back to step 8. ~_~
Most likely, it will work on the first try, unless you have a bad floppy, your floppy drive has a bad read, or whatever.
But, floppys are notoriously unreliable, remember?
It's celebration time!! You did it! The hard part is over!!!
Delete the xx** files and do this.
Make a folder in /mnt called iso.
$ cd /mnt
$ mkdir iso
***END CODE SAMPLE***
Mount the iso to /mnt/iso.
$ mount -o loop -t iso9660 dsl-x.x.x.iso /mnt/iso
***END CODE SAMPLE***
Copy the contents of /mnt/iso to /mnt/hda1.
$ cp /mnt/iso/* /mnt/hda1/
***END CODE SAMPLE***
Unmount everything on the target system and reboot it with the DSL boot disk in it.
***END CODE SAMPLE***
At the boot prompt, type in "dsl fromhd=/dev/hda1". If everything worked right, it should fire right up, just as if it were running from CD!
You can do whatever you want from here. I'll leave that up to you. Doing a regular HDinstall or whatever and setting up the swap partition.
Give yourself a high five! YOU DID IT!!!!!!!
Im still blown away that I was actually able to do what I was planning on doing...
Ill explain...I have a very old laptop that a buddy of mine was gave to me, its a 75Mhz Pentium (classic) 16Megs RAM, 540MB harddrive, no CD ROM or USB available, 10/100 Kingston KNE-2 PCMCIA card, the only info online I could find about it was (FCC ID:FMA7600)...I truly thought I was fighting a futile battle but now im surfing the web on this little monster!
OK before I go into how I did it I want to let anyone know that before they get frustrated and throw it out of the window take a step back and catch your breath...many times I wanted to quit but kept on trying...
1. Get the ISO image from DOWNLOAD PAGE
2. Get your favorite ISO viewer program (ISOBUSTER, DAEMON TOOLS, or whatever)
3. Extract the ISO files to your harddrive:
4. Get WINRAR and UnRAR for DOS files.
5. When you rar the files you will have to go into the adv tab and select the old archive names (otherwise you get filenames like unrar.part01.rar which will confuse DOS), dont worry about compression or whatnot it should handle that automatically. Once you rar the files you should have around 30-32 rar files that will fit on a floppy.
5. With a WIN98 WIN98(no ramdrive) boot floppy (dont worry about the error message about no cdrom) fdisk 2 (50meg) primary fat 32 paritions on the harddrive (dont worry about the extra space...Linux will handle that later).
Format them (C:\ and D:\) with format C: /u or D: /u
6. Using 2 "good" floppies copy over the individual rar files to the D: drive on the computer [/CODE]a:\copy *.* d:[/CODE], once you have all the files copied over we need to:
A: check the integrity of the files and
B: extract the files back to thier original state.
unrar t unrar.rar
Having read the many posts of how to install DSL with no cdrom using a huge stack floppies, I wanted to create a script using only one floppy.
I wanted to make a simple way to install DSL on older laptops that have NO CDROM.
I started by looking for a single floppy Linux distro with good pcmcia network support.
I have found that TOMSRTBT is very good. It works with several old pcmcia network cards.
The systems that I have used for testing have:
1.44 floppy drive
Linksys PCMCIA network card model PCMLM56
Also works with Xircom RealPort2 Model R2E-100
I have written a tiny frugal_lite.sh. It is written in ASH shell.
It provides the traditional "poorman's" install and boot floppy creation via the net.
First you must download and create TOMSRTBT disk. http://www.toms.net/rb/
With your pcmcia card inserted try booting TOMSRTBT and see if network
card is seen.
After booting up TOMSRTBT be sure to REMOVE the TOMSRTBT disk.
Look at the output of the ifconfig command. If you see your IP then you are ready to go.
If you see 126.96.36.199 then you must manually input your IP address. Like the following two lines:
ifconfig eth0 192.168.0.14 netmask 255.255.255.0
route add default gw 192.168.0.1
Then add your nameserver like this:
echo "nameserver xx.xx.xx.xx" >> /etc/resolv.conf
Next test your network setup by pinging an internet site.
If you made it here you are ready to go!
Next grab the frugal_lite.sh script like this:
Now using fdisk create two linux partitions each large enough to hold DSL. I used 64MB to be safe. Could be smaller.
Format them by using:
Next place a GOOD (no bad sectors) floppy into the floppy drive.
Note: The hard drive partitons are NOT mounted. The floppy is NOT mounted.
Finally run the frugal_lite.sh like this:
Follow the prompts.
Upon completion the system will reboot off the DSL boot floppy and start loading DSL.
Be sure to boot with the following:
boot: dsl vga=normal
Note: After you get your system running from boot floppy (poorman's) then you can install again into the other partition using the standard frugal_instal.sh giving you much more control of your system. Use the (L)ive CD install option as the poorman's is a virtual liveCD.
Or if the other partiton is large enough then do a regular dsl-hdinstall.
If you do this re-install into the other partition either frugal or full install then you can get rid of the poorman's by using fdisk to change it totype 82 (swap) and then format it for swap by using the mkswap /dev/hdaX
Anyway, I hope that you find this script useful. It should provide the most flexible way to enjoy the latest version of DSL.
(Thanks to Robert Shingledecker)
While trying to get pendrive booting to work I learned a lot about changing the geometry on a pendrive. I thought I'd share some of that here.
First off it appears that the geometry on a pendrive is NOT fixed in hardware, I have been able to change the parameters and have it work fine both in DSL and WinXP, the upshot is that if your pendrive doesn't have parameters you like, change them!
The best tool for doing this is sfdisk under DSL. Its MUCH easier to manipulate partitions using sfdisk under DSL than using windows tools, even if you will then be using it under windows. When playing around with the geometry parameters make sure you use the -f (thats the FORCE) option to sfdisk, otherwise it won't change some of the parameters. The reason this works is that there really are no heads or cylinders, its a bunch of bytes, the heads and such are just to keep the disk drivers happy.
Why would you want to change the parameters? When making a bootable partition you want to have 32 sectors per track and 1024 or less cylinders in the boot partition. Some pendrives come with strange parameters and if you change the sectors per track, the number of cylinders might go over 1024. (I know, this happened to me) The solution is to use sfdisk to change all the parameters.
Here is the sequence I would use to generate two partitions, one for booting and the other for storing .dsl files and backups etc.
First look at the current partition table and write down the parameters, if you make a mistake you can put it back the way it was!
sudo su -- you need to do everything as root
sfdisk -l /dev/sda
The -l lists the partition table and tells you the current geometry. NOTE: use /dev/sda NOT sda1. sda referes to the whole drive, sda1 refers to the first partition on that drive, since sfdisk works on the partition table itself, specifying a specific partition will not work.
Write down the number of cylinders, heads and sectors. Multiply all three of these numbers together, this gives you the total number of sectors on the drive, thats important to know when you start changing the parameters, you don't want to wind up telling sfdisk there are more sectors than what is actually there!!
Now look at the number of sectors per track, if that is NOT 32 you will need to change it to 32. Using 32 calculate the number of cylinders if you use the current number of heads. total_sectors / 32 / number_of_heads = no_of_cylinders. You really only need the number to be less than 1024 for the boot partition, which is usually 64 MB or sometimes 128 MB. Since a sector is 512 bytes you can divide the 64million by 512 to get the total number of sectors. Use the above equation to figure out the no of cylinders in your boot partition, if greater than 1024, increase the number of heads. The max number of heads is usually speced as 32 which should work for almost all cases. If you change the number of heads to get the boot partition right make sure you recalculate the total number of cylinders you need for the whole drive. You have to use the same number of heads and sectors for ALL partitions on the drive, the only thing you can vary per partition is the number of cylinders.
Now that you have the number of sectors per track, number of heads and number of cylinders for the whole drive you can set those with sfdisk:
sfdisk -f -Cnumcyl -Hnumheads -Snumsectors /dev/sda
If these numbers are different than the previous parameters it will tell you so, but thats fine, we are chaning them!
At this point it will be asking you for the parameters for the partitions, the first one will be for the boot partition so it gets some special arguments: here is what one might look like:
sda1:0 500 6 *
sfdisk prints the sda1: you type in the rest. The 0 means it starts at cylinder 0, the 500 is 500 cylinders long (use whatever you calculated for the boot partition) the 6 is type 6 which is a FAT16 partition and the * means its a bootable partition. If you just hit enter for the next line it makes the rest of the drive as sda2 and makes it a nonbootable linux partition. Just hit enter for sda3 and sda4 and it won't make a partition for them since all the space is used up with sda1 and sda2. Sfdsik asks if you want to write to the disk, type y and you are done.
At this point reboot dsl so the system sees the new parameters.
You can now format the partitions:
reboot again and you can mount the partitions.
If you are using the install to pendrive command from DSL, don't format or mount the root partition. (sda1)
I hope this helps others get their pendrives properly partitioned.
SU's note - this usually make the key compatible with the USB-ZIP setting in Award bios.
(Thanks to John S. on the forums)
This is how to install DSL to a USB Key from Windows XP (98,NT,2000?) workstation without burning the ISO and without having to boot into DSL from the CD and partition theUSB key. (of course if you want to partition it you'll have to use a partitioning tool, cfdisk, or something else like
1. Procure USB Key and make sure it is formatted with FAT, just to be sure its working. (ugh.)
2. Download the images necessary (as of this writing, bootimage 0.8 was used and filesystem image 0.9.0.1 was used.) and also download WinImage (a share/freeware program -- google it.), and install Daemon Tools or some other ISO viewing/manipulating program.
3. Open winimage, Select the boot image you wish to use, select "Use removable disk (x:) with x: being the drive letter of your USB key you wish to install DSL onto.
4. Select write image. It may say 'image must be resized' blah blah. Do it.
5. Once that is complete, view the USB drives contents in windows Explorer. Mount the filesystem image to another drive. The filesystem image contains a directory called 'boot'. You can overwrite the files in the root of the USB Key with the files from boot/. This basically replaces
bootimage 0.8 (since it seems to not be updated with the system release) with what I'll just call bootimage-current. (basically the boot files for whatever filesystem image you're using) In this case, 0.9.0.1.
6. Confirm overwriting of the files. Assuming your bios is up to date, and you've read a lot of the other facts on 'making sure your usb key will work with your bios, etc') then all you should have to do is reboot and set the USB drive as the boot drive. DSL boots up, loads, and thats where
I'm writing this from.
7. For more help on 'customizing' your DSL install check doom4's post in this forum about 'DSL on USB-stick HOWTO' It also goes over some DSL basics that I didn't cover. http://damnsmalllinux.org/cgi-bin/forums/ikonboard.cgi?;act=ST;f=11;t=3613
For the record, stay away from cheap knockoff USB keys...they're fine for windows and stuff like that but apparently it doesn't like DSL.
I finally was able to get dsl to boot from a liveZip. I'm posting this from a parallel port liveZip damn small linux!
The first thing I did was get the zip drive working from the liveCD so I could set it up. I used the following commands:
modprobe ppa ### the drive needs both power & a disk here
mount /dev/sda4 /mnt/zippy ###you might have a different sda#
look at the drive and make sure it's nothing you want and make sure that you're looking at the real zip drive. When your sure it's nothing you want, unmount that drive and use cfdisk to repartition it. I made a 55 Meg primary partition type linux and made the rest a linux swap partition.
I rebooted at this point because cfdisk said to, I don't know if I needed to but I did.
Then I ran through the steps to get the zip drive working again and mounted sda1 (your number might be different). I copied the KNOPPIX folder to the zip drive with
cp -Rp /cdrom/KNOPPIX /mnt/zip/KNOPPIX
You need to be careful with zip drives for a few reasons. One is the speed. It isn't all copied until the disks stops spinning, and that takes about 2 minutes. You'll hear it. There is a lag between when you tell it to write and it actually does write. When it's done, umount zip and then remount it. Now run an md5sum on the /mnt/zip/knoppix/knoppix file. Yes, the filename is lower case now. Check that against the md5sum of the /cdrom/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX file. If they don't match or you get an error, don't continue. Believe me, do it again until they match and remember to unmount and remount before you run the md5 or you'll get the right answer, but it won't be real. The disk is going to spin a while during the md5 sum, but not as long as the write time.
Next download the boot floppy:
Upon booting from the floppy you need to actually type "dsl zipboot"
(Thanks to Clacker)
Below is some information on using DSL-embedded.
DSL-embedded can share a hard drive with a common DSL installation by using the 5way script. More information on the 5way script can be found on a download mirror, inside the 5way tarball.
Unless you assembled your pendrive DSL/Qemu software other than the standard, you should already have the boot option qemu in syslinux.cfg.
This will allow access to the virtual harddisk as hdb when booting from BIOS.
You should see an entry in /etc/fstab which maps /dev/harddisk /mnt/hdb
When you backup/restore you do that to a device, the device for the virtual harddisk is simply harddisk.
This device should already be populated in the backup/restore gui.
To share your myDSL extensions use mydsl=harddisk
If you are running dsl-embedded then it is probably most desireable to share a common persistent
store between the virtual environment of Qemu and a reglar boot via BIOS. That would imply for both booting methods to use the virtual harddisk. This has been discussed before: See this thread
This is yet another version of "poorman's install", but it works. Try it and compare with other "poorman's" methods. As with others, this version offers a glimpse of GNU/Linux/DSL heaven from Windows hell.
Note that this installation method works for most Knoppix-based Live-CD variants, as well as for Knoppix itself.
This procedure requires the following things:
- DSL cd, or dsl iso image file and a tool for extracting its contents.
- loadlin.exe, version 1.6c by Hans Lermen. Obtain this from his site at http://elserv.ffm.fgan.de/~lermen/ or other dos/linux utilities collection sites.
- either MS-DOS (3.3 or later), FreeDOS, or Windows (95, 98, or 98SE). If the computer has Windows ME, 2000, or XP, and has a vfat (FAT32) partition, you will need a DOS boot floppy (otherwise, tough luck since Bill Gates owns you, body and soul!). A Windows rescue boot disk will work; that of Windows 98 or 98SE is preferred.
Here are the five steps for the installation:
1. Try booting DSL off the CD first if you can. There is no point in doing the next steps if this did not work. You may need a DSL boot floppy if you cannot boot directly from the CD drive. Take note of all the boot options that you needed to use to get the computer to its best DSL state. Also note the device name of the FAT32 partition that you will use for the installation. Obtain this information by executing the command "cat /etc/fstab | less".
2. From the DSL cd or the dsl iso image file, copy the folder KNOPPIX onto the computer's drive (partition) that is in FAT32 format. This folder must be placed at the top directory of that drive.
3. In the DSL cd or the dsl iso image file, locate the folder "isolinux" inside the folder "boot". Copy the folder "isolinux" onto the top directory of the same drive as where KNOPPIX was copied to.
4. Extract the file loadlin.exe and place it inside the "isolinux" folder.
5. Inside the "isolinux" folder, create a text file "options.txt" containing the following lines (see notes below these for more information):
Notes: You need to edit these to include the boot options that you found necessary when you first tried booting off the CD. You will usually change the option "vga=normal" to something like "vga=788", "vga=791", "vga=794" or whatever matches your video setup, although "normal" works in most cases. Also, you may need to include the line "fromhd=/dev/hda1" or similar that points to the device name of the FAT32 partition where you placed the KNOPPIX folder. Most cases, this is not needed as the boot script automatically scans all available devices for the compressed image file "knoppix".
That's it for the installation. To boot to DSL, you have many options depending on how good you are with editing the files CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT.
The basic procedure is to first boot your computer to DOS prompt, with as little overhead as possible. With Windows (95, 98, 98SE), you press the F8 key while booting up to get a boot menu, then select the option that says "command prompt only". If the computer is too quick for you, then wait for the computer to finish loading Windows completely before shutting down to "MS-DOS mode". This may cause problems depending on what utilities and drivers are active when you reach the DOS prompt. Use the Windows rescue boot disk instead.
Don't try to use the "command prompt window" inside Windows as loadlin does its job exactly the same way as common DOS viruses (overwrite DOS in memory, with the exception of trashing your computer or sending obscene messages by email to everyone you know and then trashing their computers).
Second, go inside the "isolinux" folder on the drive here you placed it in. Next, execute the command "loadlin @options.txt". Everything should boot up as if from the DSL CD, except that this one is faster. You may encounter something new: a series of setup dialog screens. Select the settings that match your machine. Afterwards you should see the DSL desktop. If all you see is a blank screen or other weird, blinking, or psychedelic images, the settings you selected are wrong. Press Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get to the prompt line, execute "sudo shutdown -r now" to restart the computer, and better luck next time. Note that you can do things from this prompt line as you would from an XTerminal window, the way Real Men used to.
What about the extensions? This is simple. Just place all of them at the top directory of the drive where KNOPPIX is, or create a folder called "optional" and place the extensions there. As of DSL 1.0.1, the uci extensions must be at the top directory while the other types can be in either locations for them to be detected automatically during boot-up. You can also place them anywhere else you like (yes, even on NTFS partitions), as long as you can find them from inside DSL (e.g. using emelfm or from a console terminal). Mount that partition (e.g. /dev/hda1 onto /mnt/hda1) and execute "mydsl-load /mnt/hda1/wherever/whatever.dsl" to load it.
That is it for this howto. For more information, search the web for "loadlin howto".